Imtiaz Dharker on Start the Week

Imtiaz Dharker on Start the Week

Start the Week, BBC Radio 4, Monday 14 November 2016, 9-9.45am, repeated in a 30-minute edition at 9.30pm

Imtiaz Dharker was one of the guests on Radio 4’s flagship discussion programme Start the Week on 14 November.  She and the other guests were discussing the theme of identity within the landscape. Imtiaz read the poem ‘In Wales, wanting to be Italian’ from her 2014 collection Over the Moon.  This collection includes landscapes/cityscapes in India, Glasgow and Wales as well as London, where Imtiaz lives now.   Although they weren’t discussing her poems of mourning in the collection, Nicholas Crane, President of the Royal Geographical Society, said how he had been ‘deeply moved by Imtiaz’s poems – reading your poems of loss I had tears pouring down my cheeks’.  He was also especially taken by her poems ‘Rapt’ and ‘The City’, and was impressed by the way she was able to ‘compress complicated geographical thoughts into a single line’, as in her description in her description of London as ‘Standing/not on solid rock, but breathing water’ in ‘The City’.

‘On Start the Week Amol Rajan considers the making of the British landscape and an island mentality. The President of the Royal Geographical Society Nicholas Crane looks back over the last 12 millennia to understand how we have shaped our habitat but also how the landscape has shaped our lives. Madeleine Bunting travels through the Hebrides to see what the furthest reaches of these isles can tell us about the country as a whole. David Olusoga re-tells the story of the relationship between Britain and the people of Africa, which reaches back to the Romans, to demonstrate how black history has shaped our world, and the poet Imtiaz Dharker reflects on displacement and belonging.’

Click here to listen.  Imtiaz is interviewed at 0:25, but contributes elsewhere, and poems from her book are mentioned by Nick Crane after his interview at the top of the programme:


A Good Read, BBC Radio 4, Thursday 22 September 2016 (first broadcast 22 & 25 March 2016), 11.30pm

On 22 September Radio 4 repeated the edition of A Good Read first broadcast in March in which broadcaster Nikki Bedi recommended Imtiaz Dharker’s Over the Moon.  The book went to No 1 on Bloodaxe’s bestseller list following the March broadcast.  Imtiaz Dharker’s own illustrations feature on the cover and in the book.

‘Bestselling author Marian Keyes and broadcaster Nikki Bedi talk about their favourite reads with Harriett Gilbert. They've chosen The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver's tale of American missionaries in the Congo, Nick Hornby's first novel High Fidelity, and Imtiaz Dharker's poetry collection Over the Moon, which deals with themes of grief and loss.’

Nikki Bedi called the book 'a triumph of simple poetry' for the way in which it is ‘so effective in capturing grief, loss, longing and emptiness’ without ever becoming mawkish.  Both presenter Harriet Gilbert and fellow guest Marian Keyes also found Imtiaz's poems of grief and mourning very powerful and moving.  Harriet read aloud the whole of one of her favourites, ‘Late’, and Nikki read ‘Say His Name’.

Click here to listen. Over the Moon was discussed from 11.19:

A Portrait of… Imtiaz Dharker, BBC Radio 4, Monday 13 June 2016, 4pm

Imtiaz Dharker has her portrait painted by artist Fiona Graham Mackay.  The sessions were recorded over several months, and the conversations between artist and subject form a half-hour radio feature that was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 13 June at 4pm.  Previous subjects include the former poet laureate Andrew Motion.
‘We follow artist Fiona Graham-Mackay as she paints the portrait of poet, artist and documentary film-maker Imtiaz Dharker.  Born in Pakistan and raised in Glasgow, Imtiaz was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014. She writes about freedom, cultural intolerance, gender politics, love and loss. Fellow poet Carol Ann Duffy has said, "If there were to be a World Laureate, then for me the role could only be filled by Imtiaz Dharker."’

Features music as well as Imtiaz reading her poems 'This room' from I speak for the devil, along with 'The Conversation' and 'Invisible' from Over the Moon.  Both collections are published by Bloodaxe.

Click here to listen

Imtiaz Dharker was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry for Over the Moon and for her services to poetry. 


[14 November 2016]

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